According to the FAO (2015) Indonesia has around 91.0 million hectares of forested land, which constitutes to 53.0% of the total land area. Around 86.1 million hectares are primary or otherwise naturally regenerated forest, and around 4.9 million hectares are planted forest.
For the purposes of management, six types are distinguished: mixed hill forests, sub-montane / montane and alpine forests, savanna / bamboo / deciduous / monsoon forests, peat swamp forests, fresh water swamp forests, and tidal forests (mangroves). Mixed hill forests account for about 65% of the natural forests and are the most important for timber production.
Indonesia has three categories of forest land: Conservation Forests, Protection Forests, and Production Forests. More than half of the Indonesian forest area is production forest. Additionally, Indonesia has placed about 40 per cent of its total forest area aside for conservation of biodiversity or protection of ecological functions. A significant remaining part of the forest area convertible forest for non-forestry use.
Most of Indonesia’s forest is owned by the state (86.9%) and the remainder is so-called titled forest. A titled forest is a forest located on land on which the land title is registered by private organizations or individuals. The vast majority of the production forests are owned by the state, but directly managed by private corporations and institutions based on forest concessions.
There are two distinct forms of forest resource management in Indonesia. These are the plantation industry, which up until recently was dominated by teak plantations in Java, and the selective forestry, located mostly on outer islands. Over the past two decades, plantation forestry for the pulp and paper industry has become a significant component of Indonesia’s forest industry. Pulpwood plantations are dominated by acacia and eucalyptus species, which grow quickly in Indonesia’s tropical climate.
Production and export
According to ITTO (2017) the Indonesian industry produced in 2015 about 75 million m3 of roundwood, which is almost entirely used within the country. The export of primary timber products accounts for a total export value of 2 482.8 million US dollars in 2015, with plywood being the most important product and to a lesser extent also sawnwood.
The high domestic consumption of logs in the table above is due to the use by domestic industries, in particular the pulp and paper industry and tertiary industries such as furniture production. With the exception of pulp and paper, timber industries have been on a decline since the late 90’s. Pulp and paper demand now makes up 50 per cent of the log output in Indonesia, which mainly originates from plantations. Indonesia is a net exporter of timber and timber products and although exports are going worldwide, the Far East contributes to the majority of the timber exports. Key exports include processed goods, namely: plywood, pulp and paper, mouldings and joinery, furniture, sawn timber and veneer. The graph below only covers the customs product code 44 Wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal. This contributes approximately to 40% of the country’s export of wood-based products, while pulp and paper products account for over 50% of Indonesia’s wood-based exports. This demonstrates the particular relevance of the pulp and paper industry for the Indonesian forest sector.
Commonly harvested species for the timber industry include:
- Meranti (Shorea spp.)
- Keruing (Dipterocarpus spp.)
- Kapur (Dryobalanops spp.)
- Mersawa (Anisoptera spp.)
- Teak (Tectona grandis) from plantations
Sources of information
- FAO (2015) Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015.
- Fordaq - timber trade network
- Forest Legality Alliance country profile – Indonesia.
- ITC (International Trade Centre) calculations based on UN Comtrade statistics
- ITS Global (2011) The Economic Contribution of Indonesia’s Forest-Based Industries
- ITTO (2011) Status of tropical forest management 2011 – Indonesia
- ITTO (2017) ITTO Biennial review and assessment of the world timber situation
- World Port Source - Map of ports in Indonesia with container liner service.
Indonesia legislation knows several types of logging licenses (IUPHHK - Izin Usaha Pengelolaan Hasil Hutan Kayu) depending on forest type and ownership. The permit to use forest products from natural forest (IUPHHK-HA), plantation forest (IUPHHK-HT), ecosystem restoration (IUPHHK-RE) and other holders of management right. The large majority of timbers is harvested under these logging licenses, although the timber volume from estate crops (rubber) and private lands is increasing. For these sources the required documentation varies significantly from the main harvesting licenses which are presented in this section.
For natural forest management and plantations the license holder needs to develop an annual cutting plan (RKT - Rencana Kerja Tahunan) and a pre-harvest inventory (LHC - Laporan Hasil Cruising) with tree map, which has to be authorized by the Forest Service. Where wood is harvested on private land the owner shall hold a valid Land Conversion Permit (IPK - Izin Pemanfaatan Kayu).
Harvested logs must have permanent physical markings containing adequate information to trace them back to the harvest block. The logs will be checked by an authorised official to validate the LHC, after which the official signs a felling report (LHP - Laporan Hasil Penebangan). Based on this felling report the log transport documents are issued by the Indonesian authorised officials for transport of logs from the forest to any point outside the concession boundaries.
For natural forests a certificate of log legality (SKSKB - Surat Keterangan Sah Kayu Bulat) enclosing a log list (DKB - Daftar Kayu Bulat) is needed, for timber from plantation forest a bill for log transport (FAKB - Faktur Angkutan Kayu Bulat) and its attachment is needed, and for forest product transportation from community forest a reference letter on the source of origin (SKAU - Surat Keterangan Asal Usul) is needed.
At the mill balance sheets for the logs and processed timber are prepared, and these reconciliations are verified by the district forestry officials on a regular basis. After processing the transport of processed timber needs a bill for processed timber transportation (FAKO - Faktur Angkutan Kayu Olahan) is needed.
Inter-island transport is regulated by a special trader permit (PKAPT - Pedagang Kayu Antar Pulau Terdaftar)
For export the exporting company requests the issuance of a V-Legal document for each export consignment. To be able to receive a V-Legal document the exporter needs to hold a Forestry Industry Products Registered Exporters Certificate (ETPIK) issued by the Ministry of Trade. After issuance of the V-Legal document the exporter prepares an Export Declaration Document, which is submitted to Customs. Customs issues an Export Approval Document for Customs clearance.
The below listed key documents are based on the applicable legislation and are considered to play a key role in demonstrating legal origin. The full list of applicable legislation is accessible here (Global Forest Registry).
Trade and export
Bans and quota
A presidential instruction signed in May 2015 prevents new logging licenses being granted for a further two years, and is almost identical to the previous moratorium. All log exports from Indonesia are banned. Exports of (rough) sawn timber for all species are banned to protect domestic wood processing industries.
Cites and protected species
There are some tree species listed on CITES Appendix II from Indonesia.
- Ramin (Gonystylus spp.). The CITES listing applies to all parts and derivatives of the tree, except seeds; seedling or tissue cultures obtained in vitro, in solid or liquid media, transported in sterile containers; and cut flowers of artificially propagated plants.
- Agarwood (Gyrinops spp.). Indonesia has a quota for this species of 5000 kg in 2015. The CITES listing applies to all parts and derivatives except: seeds and pollen; seedling or tissue cultures obtained in vitro, in solid or liquid media, transported in sterile containers; fruits; leaves; exhausted agarwood powder, including compressed powder in all shapes; and finished products packaged and ready for retail trade; this exemption does not apply to beads, prayer beads and carvings.
- Agarwood (Aquilaria spp.) Indonesia has a quota for this species of 178500 kg in 2015. The CITES listing applies to all parts and derivatives except: seeds and pollen; seedling or tissue cultures obtained in vitro, in solid or liquid media, transported in sterile containers; fruits; leaves; exhausted agarwood powder, including compressed powder in all shapes; and finished products packaged and ready for retail trade; this exemption does not apply to beads, prayer beads and carvings.
- Himalayan yew (Taxus wallichiana). The CITES listing applies to all parts and derivatives except: seeds and pollen; and finished products packaged and ready for retail trade
- Serpentine wood (Rauvolfia serpentine). The CITES listing applies to all parts and derivatives except: seeds and pollen; and finished products packaged and ready for retail trade.
In addition to the CITES-listed species there are some tree species which are protected by national law. These species are locally known as Tengkawang and are all member of the Shorea family.
- Shorea beccariana
- Shorea compressa
- Shorea gysberstiana
- Shorea lepidota
- Shorea martiana
- Shorea mexistopteryx
- Shorea micrantha
- Shorea palembanica
- Shorea pinanga
- Shorea semiris
- Shorea singkawang
- Shorea stenopten
- Shorea stenoptera
National action on timber legality
Indonesia and the EU entered into negotiations for a voluntary partnership agreement in March 2007. The Agreement was signed in September 2013, and ratified in April 2014.
Under the VPA, Indonesian timber is deemed legal when its origin, production, processing, transport and trade are verified as meeting all applicable Indonesian laws and regulations included in the VPA legality definition. Indonesia’s legality definition includes a set of five clear legality standards for different forest types.
Indonesia has developed a national timber legality assurance system called SVLK (Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu). The SVLK licensing authorities currently issue ‘V-legal’ licences to accompany exports of verified legal wood. When the timber legality assurance system is operating as described in the VPA, the licensing authorities will issue FLEGT licences to accompany exports of verified legal timber destined for the EU. An agreement by Indonesia and the European Union (EU) has been reached, to issue the world's first Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) timber license as a major achievement in the fight against illegal logging (FLEGT.org). As of 15 November 2016, the FLEGT license can accompany shipments of timber exported from Indonesia to EU member states to certify that the timber has been harvested, transported, processed and traded according to Indonesian law.
Indonesia will continue to issue V-legal documents for other export destinations. Before issuance V-Legal documents are submitted in the online system of the Ministry of Forestry, which connects automatically to the system of the Ministry of Trade.
Third party certification
Indonesian forest regulations require that forestry business units must get certified for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), or at the minimum be certified for legality. Further, all timber-related industrial units, either primary or secondary industry, have to obtain a legality certificate. The assessment or audit for Sustainable Forest Management (“PHPL”) or Timber Legality Verification (VLK) is conducted by independent assessors, accredited by the National Accreditation Body. The SVLK (TLAS) certificate guarantees that the operator / timber industry complied with the legality standards and criteria, and need subsequently obtain a V-Legal document for every consignment or export. The V-Legal document ensures that the corresponding timber and timber products came from legal sources.
A relatively small part of the Indonesian forest area has been certified under a voluntary scheme. Thus far 2,186,422 hectares are covered by a FSC FM certificate and an additional 690 815 hectares are covered by an IFCC certificate. The Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation (IFCC) standard is a national standard which is endorsed by PEFC. Currently, the issued IFCC certificates focus on plantation forests producing roundwood for the pulp and paper industry, although the standard allows for certification of both plantation and natural forests. Other efforts have been made on forest certification in Indonesia against e.g. the Bureau Veritas Origin and Legality of Wood (OLB) standard and the Rainforest Alliance Verification of Legal Compliance (VLC) standard.
A somewhat different certification system is the Certisource Legality Assurance System (CLAS), which is thus far only used in Indonesia. This certification system is based on both WWF-GFTN and Indonesian legality criteria, and has been developed to verify legal production and trade. The system uses the traditional Chain of custody auditing approach, supported by DNA tracking technologies. CertiSource policy requires concessions and sawmills to demonstrate a concrete commitment to reach sustainable forest management certification.
Sources of information
- Bureau Veritas Logging enterprise OLB certified bodies list
- CITES database
- EU FLEGT Facility (2015) Indonesia: Scoping Baseline Information for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade. Baseline Study 7
- FSC (2015) FSC report “Facts & Figures” – January 2016
- Global Forest Registry
- Indonesia – EU (2015) Indonesia and the European Union - Annual Report May 2014 – April 2015. Implementing the Indonesia - EU FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement
- Government of Indonesia (2014) Regulation of Director of General Forestry Business Development number P.14/VI-BPPHH/2014: Standard and guideline of performance assessment implementation of sustainable production forest management and timber legality verification
- PEFC Facts & Figures - November 2015
- Rainforest Alliance Verification of Legal Compliance (VLC) - verified clients
- WWF GFTN & TRAFFIC (2012) Framework for Assessing Legality of Forestry Operations, Timber Processing and Trade Annex - Indonesia
- WWF GFTN Country profiles - 2015: Indonesia
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